We at ERUUF make the world a better place through our Social Justice involvement and ministries.
Justice Council Ministries
El Centro Hispano
El Centro Hispano is a grassroots community-based organization dedicated to strengthening the Hispanic/Latino community in the Durham and Chapel Hill area. Education is the cornerstone of El Centro Hispano's work: preparing kids for success, and their parents for today's marketplace. To that end, ERUUF volunteers help Hispanic students in Kindergarten-2nd grade with homework and reading and math skills for 2 hours each Monday evening of the school year.
The ERUUF/Urban Ministries Homeless Action Partnership is one way in which ERUUF serves our low income and homeless neighbors. The work that we do helps change lives through the dedicated service and financial contributions of our members. The programs at Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) are only possible because of the work of volunteers. UMD relies on over 4000 volunteer hours each year to provide housing, clothing and food. Each year over 200 ERUUF members and friends volunteer at the homeless shelter to support the various programs of UMD.
Justice Work Takes 5 Forms Here
Learning - Increasing congregational awareness and knowledge about issues and opportunities for being involved and how to interpret an issue within the context of liberal religious values,
Serving - Implementing how an Action Group intends to carry out their program of justice ministry,
Transformation - Providing opportunities for participants to increase self-reflection, sensitivity, confidence, ability, and spiritual growth resulting in empowerment and organized ways to create change,
Witness - Sharing the convictions and contributions regarding a particular issue with the wider community, and
Advocacy - Contributing to public awareness or policy solutions by engaging with the legislative process and a wider public.
(compiled from the UUA ‘s Congregational Categories of Engagement and the Justice Transition Task Force summary report).
Justice Action Groups are defined as teams engaging with specific programs, initiatives, services, events, or relationships that are directly involved in justice work. Current examples are the Homeless Action Team, Earth Justice, San Ramon, and others.
Areas of Concern refer to larger categories within which reside specific Justice Action Groups that have common characteristics and intersecting interests. Current categories of Areas of Concern are: Alleviate Poverty, Advance Human Rights, Protect the Earth, Building Beloved Community, Partners for Justice.
A limited number of Areas of Concern have been proposed to sharpen the focus for congregation commitment and understanding and to develop communities of interest wherein partnerships among Justice Action Groups within ERUUF can increase program effectiveness of each group. Although monthly Area of Concern meetings are not envisioned, communication between Action Groups is encouraged.
An Area of Concern Liaison will be selected by members of the Action Groups within each area to serve as a member of the Justice Ministry Executive Committee.
The Justice Ministry Council (JMC) is a plenary group composed of all leaders and members of Justice Action Groups. The Justice Ministry Moderators (co-chairs) convene the Council that meets quarterly to shape Justice Ministry planning, review accomplishments, and discuss justice priorities and specific program matters.
The Justice Ministry Executive Committee (JMEC) is a subset of the Justice Council composed of 5-8 people convened by the Moderators monthly and is composed of coordinators with specific organizational assignments and Area of Concern Liaisons. The Executive Committee is a critical link between the congregation and Justice Ministry Leaders and is responsible for planning, budgeting, reviewing, and green-lighting justice proposals and opportunities.
Justice Ministry Associates are Fellowship members and families who have expressed an active interest in Justice Ministry activities. Justice Action Groups will alert this growing cadre of members to specific needs and opportunities. They may serve as consultants during planning periods and participate in justice program reviews. In addition, Associates may be invited to undertake limited assignments, give presentations, and offer testimony about justice activities.
For several years until June 2016, ERUUF funded the various justice projects that the Justice Council chose for continued long-term focus at ERUUF by periodically designating the collection plate offering for the Justice Council. Six Sundays of the year, the plate was given to the Justice Council to support justice ministry at ERUUF and in the broader community.
Stories of Justice
JMC Statement on Community Policing Policies and the Militarization of the Police
The Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Justice Ministry Council
Statement on Community Policing Policies and the Militarization of the Police
The ERUUF Justice Ministry Council makes this statement out of concerns about local Police Policies, Procedures, and Practices. Our statement is founded upon our Unitarian Universalist Principles to include our commitment to peace, liberty, and justice; the worth and dignity of every person; equity and compassion in human relations; interdependence; and a commitment the democratic process. Our goal is to develop and support a vibrant local community based upon diversity, opportunity, equity, support and protection. The realization of these goals and principles depends, to a considerable extent, on the qualities of our police and judicial systems because it is these institutions that either support or destroy public perceptions of trust, fairness, equity, and respect --- the things that are the glue that hold us together as a society and community.
Justice Activist, Author, and YES! Magazine Co-Founder Sarah Van Gelder Speaks at ERUUF
by Tom Fletcher
"Say yes now, everything real greets you" sang the members of Jewelsong, a very appropriate welcome to Sarah Van Gelder, co-founder and now former editor of YES! Magazine and author of The Revolution Where You Live: Stories from a 12,000-Mile Journey Through a New America.
Sarah spoke to a large community gathering in the sanctuary at ERUUF on Monday evening, October 9, sharing stories of her travels that highlight what ordinary people are doing in their communities to create solutions to issues of racial, economic, and environmental justice.
Durham CAN Assembly Outlines Change Agenda, Honors Amassa Fauntleroy
Plenary Session Reports on Justice Ministry Accomplishments
At the recent Justice Plenary Session, ERUUFians learned what has happened recently through the efforts of the Justice Ministry Council and its many Action Teams. Here is a summary:
Green Sanctuary Accreditation: An ERUUF Strategic Goal!
Did you know that Green Sanctuary Accreditation is a current strategic goal for our faith community? Well, it is and all ERUUF members and friends are invited to learn more about Green Sanctuary and to engage in the accreditation process as much as possible.